Galatians 2:19-20 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
2 Corinthians 11:23-30 Are they ministers of Christ? I am talking like a madman I am a better one: with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless floggings, and often near death. Five times I have received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning. Three times I was shipwrecked; for a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from bandits, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers and sisters; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, hungry and thirsty, often without food, cold and naked. And, besides other things, I am under daily pressure because of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I am not indignant? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
How many times must we fall down in our lives before we have had enough, before we are tempted to give up and perhaps abandon all hope? Paul’s list of sufferings might at first glance seem filled with pride, but that is far from his mind, His sufferings as an apostle of Jesus Christ are but a sign that he is configured to the Lord himself. It is now Christ who lives in him. His multiple sufferings are his testimony that he has embraced the cross of the One who loved him and gave himself up for him and for all.
Meditations from the preachers
The following script and recording from Fr. Andrew, is a repeat of what you read and heard on Station 7.
Jesus falls three times in all. The same number of times that Peter Denied him.
And Jesus got up three times – Peter do you love me Jesus asked three times… and he had shown three times how he was willing to fall with Peter and get up and journey on towards the cross.
When Peter asked Jesus how many times should I forgive my brother 7 times Jesus said no seventy seven times – that’s the same as saying every time your brother falls forgive him so that he can get up. Again Jesus is only asking us to do what he himself was prepared to do.
Has something go you down, is there something weighing so heavy on your life that you keep stumbling – follow the way of the Cross. There is no valley too deep, no fall to great that the love of God cannot save you from it. Be of good courage and rise today with Jesus and see this through. God is doing this for you.
Lord, we seek fervently to be your servants and to bear your message. This challenge often comes with hardships, misunderstanding, and rejection. Bolster our courage and strength no matter how many times we fall or fail. Amen.